Transcript: Costner Inspired by Exxon Valdez to Create Oil-Cleaning Machine

So I looked at those images myself and it was rubber boots. And it was straw. And it was pitch forks. And then I looked at it again ten years later and I wasn't a boy anymore. And I'm looking at it. And now I'm going, the same images, the oil coming up like pudding and people again on beaches with rubber boots and straw. And then the Exxon Valdez came and again rubber-- it's like we put men on the moon. We handle nuclear energy. We do a myriad of things. We have companies that know how to build-- a platform out in the middle of an ocean.

Go figure. You and I probably couldn't do that. In thousands of feet of water, and then manage to go thousands of feet into earth to get the oil out. But that same mindset didn't think about how, when there's something happens and-- and so I've always-- you know, people are gonna -- if I say I'm a blue collar guy, people are gonna go, "Oh, yeah."

I mean, the easiest thing in life is to not put somebody like me life in reverse. Okay? If you want to put my life in reverse, when I left college I wanted to be an actor. And I wanted to be an actor so bad that I worked for $3.50 an hour. I decided I would take out trash. Okay? My other friends in college were doing other kind of jobs. They were getting their company car, they were getting their first house. I was maybe getting an interview once every two months.

But I was happy. Right? I was really, really happy. I made one decision. If I was going to take out trash, I was going to make sure that it was movie trash. So I worked at a studio. So I didn't grow up with a silver spoon. I worked on commercial fishing boats to pay for my college. I drove trucks. I framed houses. So my DNA really is I'm not a very good protest marcher. Okay? I'm not a very good person that knows how to draw attention to a problem. I have colleagues that are incredible at that, how they are able to raise awareness on issues.

I'm more of a person to kind of see the problem, kind of goes, "Well, I'm just gonna work on that. (LAUGH) I'm just going to … work on the oil thing." And just, I kinda go about it. And maybe I've been too far under the radar. But if you read that testimony, you will see that I played fair. I went to governmental-- government bodies. I went to all the initials.

CHAMPION: And you never got frustrated. To me--

COSTNER: Of course I did.

CHAMPION: Well, I didn't see it. I mean, I don't-- and-- and I would have wanted to yell at somebody. But you were very calm and you were very intelligently laying out a simple, and kept it simple, plan. I don't know how you don't get frustrated.

But you seem to be a voice that can bring both of these sides, it seems, the government and oil-- and I'd say even three sides, and people. And everybody wants to listen to you. And-- and yet you're not blaming anyone. Do you not-- do you not blame them?

COSTNER: Oh … my-- level of my frustration is-- is very high. But you know … you know, talkin' to my dad, you know, and … about things, about how to conduct yourself, and, you know, and he said, "You know, you're going to go onto that movies and you're going to be-- you're probably going to play leading men, Kevin. You're going to -- there's a way you carry yourself. And one of the actions of being a leading man in movies is you never blame and you never explain. You just kinda-- you run into a wall, you kinda just-- you keep going'. You keep going."

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